What is the Lawyering Peace Program?
The Lawyering Peace Program is a one-semester experiential learning program offered to American University students at the Washington College of Law and the School of International Service. The program gives students an opportunity to develop professional skills and substantively engage in peace negotiations, post-conflict constitution drafting, and transitional justice planning as young professionals. During the one-semester course, students will work on a long-term project for a client relating to international law. After the course, students will have the opportunity to apply to continue on as a Research Associate for an additional semester or year.
Why should I apply?
Lawyering Peace students have the unique opportunity to engage in international legal work that may directly affect the outcomes of conflicts around the world while still in school. They work with some of the world’s leading experts on the international law of peace negotiations, post-conflict constitution drafting, and transitional justice. They get to see first-hand the interaction between the theory of international law learned in the classroom and the implementation of international law in the field.
What type of work do Lawyering Peace students typically do?
Students in this program research and draft client-ready memoranda and other legal and policy documents on international legal issues to support the work of alumni with clients on the ground. Research topics include strategies for effective peace negotiations, critical components of post-conflict constitutions, and international best practices for the structure of post-conflict justice mechanisms. Students’ work provides vital academic and intellectual support to lawyers in the field.
Over the years Research Associates have worked on such projects as: supporting peace negotiations in Burma, supporting work related to the Iraqi Constitution, providing support on constitution-drafting in Egypt, joining the civil society process for selecting a new UN Secretary General, supporting work on peace negotiations in Georgia, supporting alumni advising on the design of federal states in Nepal, and supporting work relating to the preparation of the Libyan constitution.
How many credits do I earn from doing the Lawyering Peace Program?
The program consists of one 6-credit semester. All participants will receive 3 JD credits and 3 Masters credits through the School of International Service per semester. JD/MA Dual Degree students will therefore receive 3 credits toward their JD and 3 credits toward their MA. If the participant is only in the JD program, the 3 Masters credits will be counted as non-classroom credits toward their JD.
Lawyering Peace students are required to take the International Law and Peace Negotiations class that incorporates professional development, negotiation skills, and international law related to peace-building.
LAW-980 Advanced International Law and Peace Negotiations
The Advanced International Law class is part of the Lawyering Peace Program, for which there is an application process. Successful applicants then join the class the following spring. Students must go through the application process in order to join the class. Applications will be released in Fall 2019 for those wishing to join the Spring 2020 class. See the application page for more information.